There is no shortage of creativity in the South, and one area in particular that inspires us is jewelry. We love to source our handmade pieces at craft shows and flea markets, so today we’re sharing some of our favorite Southern jewelers who we discovered at such places and who create amazing work at reasonable prices. All of them share the common bond of amazing design skills and a passion for their work. Read on to find out why we love them.
Kathryn Riechert, based in Savannah, Georgia, started to create her own collection of jewelry shortly after she graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design. We love how she incorporates multiple techniques — such as fabrication, enameling and casting in her work — to make the perfect piece. “My goal is to make the world a little brighter by using uplifting messages, simple colors and playful designs,” Kathryn shares. Her hand-stamped messages on her designs serve as a source of inspiration or comfort as they are worn.
Dustin and Leslie of j. Marie
The couple behind j. Marie, Dustin and Leslie, began their jewelry career after discovering their mutual love for copper. Based in White House, Tennessee, the couple pairs silver and leather accents with their copper pieces to make them unique. We are smitten with these simple and one-of-a-kind works of art!
Deirdre Zahl of Candy Shop Vintage
Deirdre Zahl discovered her love for vintage jewelry after years of experience in fashion and design in New York, as well as while perusing many flea markets, estate sales and antique shows. She opened Candy Shop Vintage in Charleston, South Carolina, to showcase her vintage pieces, as well as her own vintage-inspired jewelry collection. “Our collections are always based off my favorite vintage styles and include vintage designs re-imagined in a modern way,” Deirdra says. We adore her pieces, which are a beautiful blend of vintage and modern with pops of color!
Allison Barker of Burdees
Allison Barker is the founder of Burdees, a minimalistic jewelry line full of unique pieces. Through this Louisville, Kentucky-based line, Allison — with help from her husband, Mike — makes items that blend with other accessories and complement all styles. “I love being inspired by simple and minimalistic things in life, and I enjoy getting to turn that inspiration into pieces that ladies all over the world will wear every day,” she says. Grab a few of her pieces and layer them to create a beautiful, effortless look.
Brooke Seraphine of Seraphine Design
An early appreciation of gems and minerals, combined with inspiration gained from one of her uncle’s collar necklaces (he was also a jewelry maker), led Brooke Seraphine to start her Nashville, Tennessee-based jewelry company. Today, her designs are gaining attention across the region. “I love what I do because it allows me to organize my time to work around my family’s schedule, be my own boss and take control of my own destiny,” she says. Each of Seraphine’s one-of-a-kind pieces is timeless and modern.
Margaret & Ellen Hinrichs of Geoflora Jewelry
Twins Margaret and Ellen Hinrichs launched Geoflora Jewelry in Charlotte, North Carolina, after earning degrees in metalsmithing from Eastern Carolina University. Their pieces, inspired by nature, offer a traditional look. “We have always loved the arts and have found a creative outlet through designing, creating and running a business together,” they share. We applaud their bold, simple statement pieces.
Mary Frances Flowers finds her inspiration and practices her craft in Asheville, North Carolina. Many of her pieces are inspired from her love of travel. “My favorite part about designing and fabricating my fine jewelry line is hearing the stories from my customers,” she says. “Listening and relishing in those sweet moments with my customers is the most satisfying part of my job.” We love how she combines multiple mediums and textures in her work.
Leigh Hillenmeyer of Hearne Dry Goods
Leigh Hillenmeyer’s Hearne Dry Goods was named after her great-great-grandfather’s family business and the necklaces are inspired by her father’s nylon sailing straps and other materials. She also boasts a charitable heart, as a portion of all her proceeds support a community health clinic in Lwala, Kenya. “I find great joy in creating bold, fashionable and affordable statement necklaces for my customers but I find a deeper joy in supporting Lwala with each piece I sell,” Leigh says.
Lauren Visconti-Beckett of Melting Sun Apparel
Lauren Visconti-Beckett began designing her jewelry line in Atlanta, Georgia, after receiving her art degree. Her modern-boho look blends elegant and simple styles. “When I finally allowed myself the opportunity to really sit back and figure out what it is that makes this creative process and work so important to me, I couldn’t help but have these three things resonate in my mind: sustainability, empowerment and quality,” Lauren says. We’re impressed with the fundamental design elements used in every unique piece.
Blaque Reily of Portmanteau Jewelry Collection
Blaque Reily found inspiration for her boho-chic jewelry line after living in many locations and enjoying an eclectic upbringing with her photographer parents. Her line is a body of fine and semi-fine jewelry made to mix, match and layer. “I enjoy experimenting, and I am really lucky to have customers that will go there with me,” Blaque shares. “My favorite thing is to see people challenge their personal style and create unlikely combinations.” We are head over heels for all of her amazing pieces!
We look forward to introducing you to more jewelers in future StyleBlueprint articles!
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